News Report by Geoff Garnett
ROYAL Liverpool Golf Club is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary in style and the historic venue provided a superb stage for an excellent county championship with a magnificent course enjoyed by all of the players over three days of enjoyable golf.
The first day saw a 36-hole stroke-play qualifier for the match-play stages and the reigning county champion Prestbury, Cheshire and England star Bel Wardle showed her intent of keeping her title with rounds of 71 and 73.
This left her 14 shots clear of the field, dropped her handicap to +6 and won her three trophies – the Doris Brown Trophy as the top qualifier, the Intermediate champion and the Millenium Trophy for the best Intermediate score over the first 18 holes.
Then it was down to two rounds of match-play on day two for the top 16 qualifiers with the winning eight going through to the quarter- finals and then the semi-finals and the other eight first round losers playing for the Sir William Bailey Cup.
Reaching the semi-finals for the final day were Bel Wardle, playing former champion Lucy Jamieson (Heswall) and Poppy Finlay (Sandiway) taking on Lauren Jones (Mellor and Townscliffe)
Bel had a close contest in her semi-final with a one-hole win over Lucy, who caddied for Bel in the final and Poppy eased to a 7/5 win over Lauren.
The final saw Poppy and Bel match scores for the opening holes before Bel had a burst of birdies on holes 6, 8 and 9 to take the lead and despite Poppy’s best efforts she could not prevent Bel prevailing by 4/3 to retain her title with some impeccable golf.
The final of the Sir William Bailey Cup was a very tight affair before Caldy’s Deli Skinner won on the final hole against Ffion Jones (Eaton).
The best nett prizes went to Megan Sumner (Sandiway), Victoria Turner (Delamere Forest) and Maureen Richmond (Royal Liverpool).
The trophies were presented by Cheshire Lady Captain Jeanne Bell (Royal Liverpool GC) who gave Royal Liverpool’s Lady Captain Maureen Richmond a county plaque for her club hosting the championship.
Jeanne then paid tribute to the host club and all the county officials who had worked so hard to make this a superb championship and to all of the players for their playing quality and sportsmanship over three busy days.
Bel will now lead the Cheshire team in the Northern Counties Championships at Seaton Carew at the end of June.
Pics- 1 Bel with her trophies, 2 action on the course from Bel and Poppy, 3 action for Ffion and Deli in the Sir William Bailey Cup, 4 Maureen Richmond receives the county plaque